ASD Market Week Welcomes the Independent Retailer Conference March 1-4, 2015

ASDMarketWeek

 

Parker, CO (January 23, 2015) – The nation’s largest consumer merchandise trade show, ASD Market Week, will again welcome the nation’s only conference dedicated entirely to independent retailers, the Independent Retailer Conference, to their March 1-4, 2015 show held in Las Vegas.

The Independent Retailer Conference made their trade show debut at our March 2014 show, and we are looking forward to them returning again one year later. They are a fantastic addition to our show benefits, offering attendees strong retail education through hands on, retail expert engagement as well as they will deliver over fifty educational presentations,” ASD Vice President of Marketing Camille Candella stated.

The Independent Retailer Conference has previously held their events in Chicago, New York City, Las Vegas and California since 2011. By hosting pop up conferences on site at trade shows like ASD, the Independent Retailer Conference can reach more retailers while also supporting them during their important buying trips.

Connecting with retailers onsite at a trade show like ASD allows us to extend education to them during their buying trips – delivering a comprehensive experience of buying for their stores while gaining trusted, educational insight to help them operate their businesses. Retailers appreciate this,” Independent Retailer Conference Co-Founder Nicole Leinbach Reyhle states.

Joining the Independent Retailer Conference at ASD will be a select group of retail leaders and companies, including SnapRetail, Yelp, Constant Contact, English Management Solutions, Lumiary, RETAILMavens, Ringo Financial, Retail Studio Effect and more. Additionally, internationally recognized keynote speakers and retail experts Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender will return to the Independent Retailer Conference at ASD for their third appearance, serving as event emcees.

We’re looking forward to returning to ASD for a third time, where we found their diverse group of retailers to be engaged and interested in learning more about helping their stores succeed. The Independent Retailer Conference really aims to support the unique crowd of independent merchants, and ASD Market Week is a fantastic show for independents. It’s a great combo and a great four days that we look forward to,” Georganne Bender, one half of retail expert team Kizer & Bender, told us.

The Independent Retailer Conference is dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of retail small business owners.  Their education-rich, action-packed events offer retailers, wholesalers and community leaders the chance to engage, learn and connect with retail experts, industry leaders, service providers and like-minded entrepreneurs. Attendees of ASD Market Week can expect an interactive experience that leaves them better educated and more inspired – with takeaway tools to bring back to their stores.

About Independent Retailer Conference

The Independent Retailer Conference is the nation’s only retail conference dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of independent store owners. Founded by industry veterans Nicole Leinbach Reyhle of Retail Minded & Kerry Bannigan of Nolcha Fashion Week, the Independent Retailer Conference offers independent retailers the chance to engage, learn, and connect with industry leaders while also getting inspired from retail experts, service providers and like-minded retailers from across the nation.

About the ASD Show  

ASD Market Week, a subsidiary of Emerald Expositions, is based in Los Angeles, CA and brings together 40,000+ attendees and 2,800 sellers in the wholesale merchandise industry. The events take place bi‐annually in March and August in Las Vegas and are the 15th and 17th largest expos in the U.S., respectively, covering over 700,000 sq/ft of exhibit space. ASD also produces regional events in New York City and Miami in the fall, which caters to the general merchandise retailers in the tri‐state New York and Florida and Caribbean area.

 

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#1 Thing You Can Do When Dealing With Upset Customers

As much as any business aims to avoid upset customers, dealing with one – or many – is bound to happen one day. So what’s a small business owner to do?

With no powerhouse team behind you to hand off upset customers to, it’s up to you to take care of them as easily and as quickly as possible. To help do this, there is one key thing you must do. Listen. More importantly, listen to them.

When dealing with upset customers, allowing them to share their frustrations, express their concerns, voice their opinions and complain is – quite frankly – the best medicine in helping to heal this pain. Frustrated, upset, unhappy or disgruntled customers are best tamed when given a platform to talk. While the middle of the day in front of many other customers isn’t your perfect scenario to have them chat, giving them a chance to speak up is still a necessary step. Below, consider these tips to help you navigate these conversations – whether you want to have them or not.

1. Put your personal emotions to the side. Even if you have your own frustrations brewing, let them rest and allow your customer to express their thoughts first. For that matter – keep your personal voice tucked away and only allow your professional voice to be shared. Calmly ask your customer to share their concerns, and if necessary, direct them to an area of your store where you can speak to them in private or at least removed from other customers.

2. Thank your customer. Yes, thank them. When a customer takes the time to share their thoughts – even when not good ones – it allows you and your business an opportunity to reclaim a customer, as well as potentially improve your customer service and store efforts. In fact, according to Author Ruby Newell-Legner of the book “Understanding Customers”, only 4% of dissatisfied customers ever share their frustrations or concerns with businesses. In some ways, you can consider it a blessing to gain these opportunities. When life gives you lemons, after all, you can make lemonade. Thanking customers who take the time to share their thoughts with you can truly help your business if you analyze what they are really saying and consider that although others may not speak up, certain issues may be a problem you need to address.

3. Recognize what your customer says, and repeat it. By acknowledging what your customer says and repeating it so they know you have understood them, your customer can feel more assured you listened and you cared. The key is to make sure they trust you in your effort to hear their frustrations – which this action alone can help alleviate some of their disappointment.

While listening alone can help ease upset customers, finding a resolution is ultimately key. As a small business owner, you are likely able to “bend your own rules” if necessary – but this shouldn’t be the goal. Instead, aim to deliver customer care that not only helps your customer relieve their frustrations, but also helps you gain a loyal customer in return.

Donating Unwanted Inventory Can Yield Tax Advantages

Most companies seem to have excessive pallets of merchandise that is either overstock or past dated. It’s taking up space that could be better used and benefit others.

There is an easy way to rid your organization of that unwanted stock and reap the benefits on many levels.  Product philanthropy is aimed at C Corporations yet many of them have never even heard of this section of the tax code.

According to IRC Section 170(e) (3), when C Corps donate their inventory to qualified nonprofits, they can receive a federal tax deduction equal to up to twice the cost of the donated products.

When organizations donate their excess merchandise to a gifts-in-kind organization, their items will find a good home with a deserving charity. Gifts-in-kind organizations are nonprofits that collect corporate product donations and then give them to qualified nonprofits. They facilitate the deal and you and the charity reap the benefits.

A twice cost tax deduction sounds almost too good to be true?  But it’s true! Here’s the formula:

Deductions are equal to the cost of the inventory donated, plus half the difference between the cost and fair market-selling price, not to exceed twice the cost.

For example, if your product cost $10 and you sell it for $30, the difference is $20. Half of $20 is $10. So:

$10 (Product Cost) + $10 (Half the Difference) = $20 Deduction

($20 does not exceed twice the product cost, so it is does not exceed the maximum allowable deduction.)

This is probably a much better arrangement than what your company receives when moving merchandise using an online auction, closeout sale or liquidation agent.

The fact is that while those strategies often can devalue your brand, donating to charity only strengthens it.

The very best part is that with product philanthropy, your business is actively helping the needy.

Because a wide variety of items are appreciated, products from many industries are welcome.  So do a nice thing for a deserving charity and for your company, donate your excess inventory.

 

Gary C. Smith is President and CEO of NAEIR, National Association for the Exchange of Industrial Resources, the largest gifts-in-kind organization in the U.S. Galesburg, Illinois based  NAEIR (www.naeir.org) has received donations of excess inventory from more than 8,000 U.S. corporations and redistributed more than $3 billion in products to non-profits and schools.  Contact him at 800-562-0955.

 

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3 Easy Marketing Tips You Can Start Doing Today

There’s no shortage of marketing options for retailers nowadays, but somethings take a bit more planning than others. If you’re short on time or on cash, consider these marketing tips as a quick, easy and affordable jump-start to help your marketing efforts this year.

1. Encourage Social Media Check Ins on Four Square, Facebook & Other 

Checking in via social media may seem like no big deal, but consider all the friends and friends of friends who see these check ins. Did you think about? Your business gains visibility each time someone checks into a place via social media… and it only takes seconds for your customers to do this. The appeal of “check-ins” is that customers are actually happy to be at your business – which translates to those viewing check-ins as impressionable moments among potential consumers.  Key word? Consumers. Be in front of their eyes whenever you can, and check-ins are a great way to do this. Post a friendly sign in your store to remind customers to do this and in exchange, offer them 10% off a same-day purchase or another fun perk.

2. Embrace Mobile Experiences

4 out of 5 users shop on their phones and 80% of Smartphone users will reference their phone while shopping in a store. Rather than become frustrated and ignore this reality or try to fight it, embrace it. Make sure your website it mobile friendly and make sure your physical store welcomes Smartphone users. It’s our consumer reality – like it or not.

3. Build Brand Equity Through Press 

Press is free… for the most part. Sure, it takes time to generate visibility and communicate with media, but other than this it is essentially cost free. Better yet? Customers love shopping where they think there is a “buzz”. Beyond your grand opening, celebrating an anniversary or hosting a special event, why does your store deserve press? Create stories to pitch to the media that generates store awareness and in return, attracts new customers while reminding old customers just how great your store is. Be sure your pitch is newsworthy though. Look to your vendors, employees and even customers for ideas. It does not have to be black and white and specifically about your store products – but it does need to be exciting to gain traction among media outlets.

Another tip? Don’t give up… but you know this already, don’t you? Marketing is a non-stop effort for any business – small or large. Whether it’s word of mouth marketing or the kind that comes after a lot of sweat, be sure your store isn’t left in the dust when it comes to gaining customer awareness.

 

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Sports Licensing Tailgate Show Welcomes Independent Retailer Conference

SportsLicensingTailgateParker, CO  (January 13, 2015) – The Independent Retailer Conference is thrilled to join the Sports Licensing and Tailgate show scheduled for January 14-16, 2015 in Las Vegas. A first time experience for Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show attendees, the Independent Retailer Conference will be free for all attendees to experience – allowing them to engage, learn and connect from some of the industry’s top retail thought leaders and industry experts.

We’re excited to join the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show to deliver retail-rich, educational experiences while also introducing attendees to some fantastic businesses and industry leaders, including SnapRetail, Constant Contact and TouchSuite POS,” Independent Retailer Conference Co-Founder Nicole Leinbach Reyhle states.

Held annually in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show is the premier event for brand owners, licensors, licensees and retailers interested in sports licensed products. Home to over 300 exhibits and thousands of retailers, this is the only show of its kind to target the sports, licensing and tailgating markets. Exhibiting companies hold the licenses for professional and collegiate sports teams and represent all product categories.

The Sports Licensing and Tailgate show has always provided an outstanding platform to write orders and meet with the core licensing bodies, but with the addition of these robust retail-focused sessions, it becomes the must-attend show to get valuable insights and information to support retailers in their efforts to grow their businesses,” said Liz Crawford, Vice President and Group Show Director for the Licensing Group. “We have been looking for this type of content to enhance the attendee experience. By joining forces with the Independent Retailer Conference we are able to bring professionals in the area of independent retail to share their learnings and support our retailers.”

The Independent Retailer Conference is dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of small business owners. Its education-rich, action-packed events offer retailers the chance to engage, learn and connect with retail experts, industry leaders, service providers and like-minded entrepreneurs. Attendees of the Independent Retailer Conference at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show can expect an interactive experience that leaves them better educated and more inspired – with takeaway tools to bring back to their stores. For a full overview of conference speakers and sponsors, please click here. 

About Independent Retailer Conference

The Independent Retailer Conference is the nation’s only retail conference dedicated entirely to the unique lifestyle and responsibilities of independent store owners. Founded by industry veterans Nicole Leinbach Reyhle of Retail Minded & Kerry Bannigan of Nolcha Events, the Independent Retailer Conference has been offering independent retailers the chance to engage, learn, and connect since 2011 with industry leaders while also getting inspired from retail experts, service providers and like-minded retailers from across the nation.

About Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show

Held annually in Las Vegas, the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show is the premier event for brand owners, licensors, licensees and retailers interested in sports licensed products. Home to over 300 exhibits and thousands of retailers, this is the only show of its kind to target the sports, licensing and tailgating markets. Exhibiting companies hold the licenses for professional, collegiate and all other sports teams and represent all product categories. Visit www.SportsTailgateShow.com for more information.

About Emerald Expositions

Emerald Expositions is a leading operator of large business-to-business tradeshows in the United States, producing over 65 tradeshows and conference events per year connecting over 335,000 buyers and sellers across nine diversified end-markets, including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design, jewelry, photography, decorated apparel, building, healthcare and military. Emerald Expositions is headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California. The company’s shows are typically the most prominent and important for exhibitors and attendees within their various industries. To learn more about Emerald Expositions, please visit www.emeraldexpositions.com.